Laws of War
The Free Colonies
The Free Colonies are historically one of the oldest nations in the region, or one of the youngest depending on whose view of history you take. Only since the first year of the Demon War have the Colonies been recognized as having a legitimate claim on their own sovereign soil, with the Treaty of Aquila giving them sovereignty over a series of islands off the coast of Borean, as well as dominion over the surrounding waterways.
But for centuries, the Free Colonies have existed in some form or another as a nomadic nation of seafarers, wanderers, and wayfarers. Their oral histories claim that they were founded across the sea when their first King united disparate pirate clans into a cohesive tribe and proceeded to increase in size by assimilating other nomadic groups. Mercenaries, thieves, adventurers, all were adopted into this fledgling nation and swore allegiance to its one main law: survival of the fittest.
The Free Colonies are one of the only places in the known world where “thief” is considered to be an honorable occupation and part of their functioning society. What most other nations consider crime, the Freeholders see as a regulated part of their lifestyle – guilds of thieves control redistribution of wealth, taking the risks that come along with their profession. Any citizen of the Free Colonies may use whatever means necessary to defend their property, which in turn creates more skilled thieves and buccaneers, whose one law is the prohibition from killing in order to steal. Thieves in the Free Colonies live their lives by this code, and one other: The King’s Call.
Despite no longer being ruled by a King, but instead a Grand Chief (currently a mysterious unseen individual only known as The Master of Shadows) every citizen of the Free Colonies accepts this one rule of citizenship: when called, you answer. When the country has need, every citizen is expected to set aside all feuds and personal business to serve the greater good of their nation. During wartime, landed nobles may serve in trenches alongside brigands who only months before robbed them blind, and a highwayman may find a comrade-in-arms serving alongside the very judge who sentenced him to prison.
Currently, the Master of Shadows is said to be in negotiations with other leaders, seeking dominion over various newly-charted islands around Aquila, while obeying the Treaty and not laying any claim to Aquila itself. The fact that the Free Colonies currently hold a definite naval advantage over all other nations makes the Master of Shadows’ requests somewhat more forceful than would otherwise be the case.